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How to get an entry job level in IT with no degree or experience?

How to get a job in IT with no degree or work experience as an adult? What are the best places to look? What skills can I learn on my own to make that happen?

Thank you comment icon Hi Jessica, There are many many ways to land an entry level job in IT without a degree. You should definitely know the coding languages, at least three. Create projects and organize them because most job applications for tech have an option to attach a portfolio. Interviews and phone calls for tech are mostly about excitement. The field is huge and really popular so learn coding languages, create a portfolio, connect, and be enthusiastic at the interviews!! Natalie
Thank you comment icon I love your answer Natalie, thank you so much for sharing some tips and sparing your time! :) Jessica

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Sushanta’s Answer

You can start with Microsoft Excel tool. May be you are already using this tool. Use the documentation and internet search to start using more features of this tool and become a power user. Specially try to learn how you can import data into excel from various input sources like from CSV files, from any database like Microsoft access, SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL etc.

With this excel skillset, you can apply for various entry level IT positions .

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Jessica
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Matilde’s Answer

Hi Jessica,
Just start looking for entry level jobs, like customer support call centers were you are trained to do the work.
75% of the knowledge is experience, so this will help in your future jobs a lot, you can even start building your career from there.
Also there are a lot of free certifications you can get online that might help you.
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Jessica
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Tania’s Answer

Hi, Jessica!
Let me share some certificates that can help you to engage emerging jobs and roles of the future:
SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager: https://scaledagile.com/training/safe-product-owner-product-manager/
Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (ERP): https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/d365-fundamentals-finance-and-operations-apps-erp/
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/azure-ai-fundamentals/
Google Data Analytics Certificate: https://grow.google/certificates/data-analytics/#?modal_active=none
Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate: https://grow.google/certificates/digital-marketing-ecommerce/#?modal_active=none
AWS Cloud Practitioner: https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-cloud-practitioner/?nc1=h_ls
Not all the companies request a University Degree, instead, the company requests you a official skill-based-certificate by the experts in the market.

Tania recommends the following next steps:

Check FUTURE OF WORK: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/03/new-emerging-jobs-work-skills/
Create a Job Profile in LinkedIn (world’s largest professional network on the internet)
Check Top 10 Emerging & Declining Jobs in 2022: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-emerging-declining-jobs-2022-teamleasedigital/?trk=pulse-article
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Weronika’s Answer

Hi Jessica :)
1. Many companies offer things like Academies - they are for people who start their adventure with IT. Try to look for those programs first. They have one disadvantage - you are sometimes obligated to stay for some time in the same company but not always as they can;t keep everyone. Even if you don't stay, they will give you recommendation after.
2. There are also a lot of mentorship programs for women in tech - I'm currently in one as I wanted to learn more about Agile and Scrum. Having a mentor is very valuable in terms of knowledge you get but also if you get a good connection with your mentor and show progress, they can further recommend you for a job.
3. You can learn some supporting skills that are not that technical - like Scrum or Agile, writing technical documentation which can help tip your application in your favor when recruiters check your resume. There are also positions that don't require coding - try googling it and maybe evolving a little in that position, which can prove helpful in the future.
4. Look for groups on facebook for women in IT - there's a ton of offers there too.
5. Try some online courses that offer certificates - show that you are a self-learner and motivated to learn.
6. Try Technical Support or Desktop support roles - this is often a first step into the IT world and after you're in the company it gives you more options to further work on technical skills, as these roles often have to do with contact with developers.
7. Check job trends in IT and maybe try to think ahead in terms of what coding languages/technologies you should consider.
8. In my country (Poland) there's also a lot of 'scholarships' and free programs for specific age/gender/location groups. Look for them too, they are fully funded.
9. LinkedIn offers a lot of courses that are free if you have premium for a month and they offer a certificate or skill test after which you can then add to your profile.

Hope this helped - I went this way too and I'm in IT for 2 years now :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Jessica
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Maria’s Answer

Look for companies that offer apprenticeships. These companies will take on people who have the right attitude and aptitude.
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William’s Answer

Hi Jessica!

Enrich yourself with practical IT skills.

Seek for internship opportunities to build experience in industry exposure.

Get certifications to validate your skills.

Look for volunteer opportunities in IT to increase your experience and portfolios.

Ensure you join in professional developments for continuous career growth.

You can succeed in getting and sustaining an entry level job in IT, if you try the suggestions above.

One may not be able to sustain entry level job in IT, even if the person is able to get a job with equipping oneself as suggested above.
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Hormuzd’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

There are quite a few companies who offer entry level jobs w/o a college degree in IT. However, you still need some skill sets. With the revolution of the internet you can learn coding using C#, Python, C++ and Java languages for free. These four I think are the most used coding languages. If you are not interested in coding then I would recommend internet security. However, I would recommend that you still attend a community college which offers you a 2 year associate degree and after you graduate you will be more marketable. The advantage of the community colleges is that they are cheaper and classes are small.

Best of luck to you.

Hormuzd
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Robert’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

This is honestly a great question, and I was asking it myself about 20 years ago, after a few years of bouncing between several potential college majors and ending up without a degree (but with an eclectic mix of completed coursework!). I found myself with an interest in all types of technology and software, and that's where I'd personally start if I were looking for a topic to investigate: I'd immerse myself in the topic as much as I could, both through research (if your local library has online borrowing, that's a great way to expose yourself to lots of subjects) and by browsing media/news sites (Cnet, Computerworld, even TechCrunch and TheRegister).

When I decided to focus on a career path in IT, I used the CompTIA A+ certification as a basis of study, and I used as many free online resources as I could to brush up on the topics covered in the cert. A combination of certifications can stand in for a degree in some situations, and even a single completed cert shows employers that you're willing to see a personal development project through to completion. If you can invest a bit of time and effort into study and have the resources to afford one or more certification paths for any industry-standard cert (anything from CompTIA, Microsoft, Google, or Cisco would fit the bill), you're well on your way to having great qualifications for an entry-level position. Financial assistance is often available for certs too, just like for college degrees; check with your local workforce development/employment office, or search online for certification-related financial aid programs.

Finally, when you start looking for a position, make sure your résumé is in good shape. That's obviously a very relative term when you may not have much experience in terms of applicable job history, but you'd be surprised what kinds of skills and positions can be made applicable to a different field. I tinkered and resolved problems with IT equipment in completely service-oriented, non-technical jobs and was able to use that as a bullet point when describing them, but even having a detail-oriented mindset or a history of writing good reports can be framed as a plus for your intended position. People/soft skills are huge as well, so if you have experience serving people, explaining things, or just getting along with coworkers, that's great to list too. And don't forget to mention the effort you've put into study, whether it's a full certification or just mentioning what you feel you're well-versed on (I got my very first computer assembly position by saying I was studying for my A+, which was a minimum requirement!).

Getting into IT isn't necessarily easy, but I don't think it's as intimidating as it's sometimes made out to be. Focus on the skills and topics you're really interested in, take a look at what jobs are available in your area (or remotely; WFH can be great!), and don't be afraid to reach out for help, either here or in whatever other communities you're a part of. Good luck in your search!
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Eileen’s Answer

Here are some ideas for you to consider -Best wishes to you!
• Self-Study: You can learn a lot online through free or low-cost resources. Websites like Coursera, edX, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer courses on various IT topics. Start with introductory courses and gradually move on to more advanced subjects.
• Certifications: IT certifications can help validate your skills. Look into certifications like CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Cisco CCNA, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, or Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals, depending on your area of interest. These are recognized by employers.
• Online Communities: Join online IT communities and forums, such as Stack Overflow, GitHub, or Reddit's IT-related subreddits. Engage with the community, ask questions, and share your knowledge.
• Contribute to Open Source Projects: Many open source projects welcome contributions from volunteers. This is a great way to gain practical experience and build a portfolio.
• Networking: Attend IT-related meetups, conferences, or webinars. Networking can lead to job opportunities and connections with professionals who can guide you.
• Internships or Apprenticeships: Look for IT internships or apprenticeship programs, even if they are unpaid or offer a minimal stipend. These can provide valuable work experience and open doors to future employment.
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Charanya’s Answer

In an Information Technology company there are different roles you can take up. Generally a team that builds software consists of Developers, Quality assurance engineers, Business analysts/Product managers, Data analysts, Project Manager. For each of these roles you will need a specific skill set.
For example if you choose to be a Developer then primarily you will be the person writing code to build the software using a set of programming languages like Java script, Java, C# dot net, python etc. Based on what the company uses the developer will be working on 1 or 2 programming language, for you to get started it would be good to start on some online courses for basic programming, Javascript and Java or C# dotnet as these are the most used languages once you get the hold of one of these courses and you understand your interests then you can join specific code bootcamps conducted by organizations like general assembly(not sponsored just an example) where u can learn more on the programming language , related tools and how u can use it in real time.

If you choose to be a Quality assurance engineer there are again online courses about what is software testing and automation testing , there are youtube videos for that take a look at them and if u think this is something you are interested in then again u can take up courses like Udemy and prepare for some Software testing certificates like ISTQB which is the certification for software testing https://www.istqb.org/

To be a Data analyst you will need to take up Data analysis / Data science courses offered by some universities, this is a growing industry and a great area to be working in.

There are a lot of companies that offer graduate roles for fresh graduates so joining a short course on any of the above fields in an organization might open up those graduate opportunities for you.

Another good place to start is as an intern in an IT companies, most companies tend to recruit their interns into graduate level roles.
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Adrian’s Answer

In my opinion, most jobs will require some form of experience not necessarily a college degree. Fear not, having an understanding of C++ could be great program to master. There are many videos that teach how to learn and apply this skill to a work environment.
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Eric’s Answer

There are ways to get experience by completing your own projects, volunteering, network with professionals already in the field, or ask to work for family/friend task. AWS, raspberry pi, hackthebox and other sites have foundation projects to get you started.
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